Bring Out the Derby Glasses

Since 1940, Mint Juleps, the traditional beverage of the Kentucky Derby have been served in colorful glasses featuring unique designs as well as a list of previous Derby winners.

We’ve collected dozens of these glasses over the years. Many with images of horses.

And others with red roses, the traditional flower of the race.

The list of previous winners provide a great opportunity for a little Derby Day trivia.

However, the 1969 glass is missing the list of winners since it was pending the appeal of the disqualification of the 1968 winner, Dancer’s Image.

And the oldest glass in our collection? Ones from 1959.


Blemont Drink Confusion

Race day requires the preparation of a signature drink, but that is no easy task when it comes to the final leg of the Triple Crown. Unlike the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes traditional drink is anything but traditional.

The Mint Julep has held the honor of traditional beverage of the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century, and the official drink of the Preakness Stakes is the Black Eyed Susan. However, it seems while the name of the drink has remained the same, the ingredients have changed from year to year, even changing from bourbon, to rum, to Scotch whiskey, and then to vodka. The one consistent ingredient: orange juice.

However, the Belmont Stakes official drink has not only changed ingredients, but names as well. The original drink, the White Carnation (named after the official flower of the Belmont) was made with vodka. Then in 1998, mixologist Dale DeGroff created a new concoction, the Belmont Breeze; but since it requires many ingredients and is time consuming to prepare, a third “official” drink recipe was created in 2012.

Just need to determine which drink to make!

Maybe it’s time for a taste test to determine the best choice.

White Carnation


  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz peach schnapps
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • soda water
  • splash of cream


  1. Stir and pour over ice in a highball glass.
  2. Can garnish with an orange slice.

Belmont Breeze


  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce Dry Sack Medium Dry Sherry
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • Splash of orange juice
  • Splash of cranberry juice
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1 mint sprig
  • 1 orange zest


  1. Shake all ingredients with ice. (excluding mint sprig & orange zest)
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint sprig and orange peel.

Belmont Jewel


  • 1.5 oz Kentucky Bourbon
  • 2 oz lemonade
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice


  1. Shake vigorously with ice and serve on the rocks.
  2. Garnish with maraschino cherry or lemon twist.

Of course, others have suggested serving Long Island Iced Tea, a traditional New York cocktail, completely ignoring any of the official drinks. That may be the best suggestion yet.

Which drink will you serve?

Watch the Derby & Eat Pie


Tomorrow is “The Run for the Roses” at Churchill Downs.

If you can’t go to Louisville for the race, you might want to try one of these Derby inspired ideas:

Place a bet on the race.

Wear a derby hat.

Drink a mint julep.

Watch the race on television. (Televised on NBC with post time at 6:24.)

Eat a piece of Derby Pie.

If you’ve never eaten Derby Pie, this is a good time to give it a try and this recipe couldn’t be easier. (Adapted from Faithful Provisions.)


  • 9″ pie crust (I used Pillsbury® Refrigerated Pie Crust.)
  • 5 teaspoons butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c chopped pecans


  1. Line a 9″ pie plate with refrigerated pie crust.
  2. Melt butter in microwave and then set in refrigerator to cool while assembling remaining ingredients.
  3. In large bowl combine sugar and flour.
  4. Then add melted butter, beaten eggs, vanilla, chocolate chips, and pecans.
  5. Pour mixture in pie shell and bake at 350° for 35 minutes.


Most recipes for Derby Pie call for bourbon to be added, from 1 teaspoon to as much as 1/4 cup, but I don’t think this recipe can be beat for ease or taste.

Pie and horse racing – a good combination!



  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 nine-inch unbaked pie shell


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 nine-inch unbaked pie shell




It’s Mint Julep Time

It’s time to purchase the ingredients for Mint Julep’s, the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. With the race only a day away, you’ll need to prepare for the big day, especially since the recipe needs to be refrigerated overnight. You can find numerous recipes for this race day cocktail but since Early Times is “The Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby”, it’s only fitting to include their simple to make recipe.

The Early Times Mint Julep Recipe

  •  2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whisky

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Of course, we’ll serve the drinks in Kentucky Derby glasses since we have dozens of them, but a tall glass with a straw will suffice.


Did you know that over 120,000 of these drinks will be served at Churchill Downs today and tomorrow? It’s hard to believe considering how terrible they taste!